Biden to host senators Durbin, Grassley on Supreme Court opening

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FILE PHOTO: United States Supreme Court issues rulings on Captiol Hill in Washington

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden and his White House team will start consultations this week on whom to pick as his nominee for the Supreme Court after Justice Stephen Breyer announced plans to step down in June, the White House said.

Press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden on Tuesday will host Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, a Democrat and the committee’s ranking Republican, Charles Grassley, to discuss the situation. Biden’s nomination will require Senate confirmation.

Biden has promised to pick the first Black woman to serve on the high court and plans to make his choice known by the end of February. A source familiar with the situation said he is expected to select from a list of about 10 or fewer people, meeting with candidates as soon as next week.

Psaki declined to give details of Biden’s list but said, “He has, of course, been reviewing a number of potential candidates.”

The White House last week confirmed that one name on Biden’s list is U.S. District Court Judge J. Michelle Childs. Biden nominated Childs last month to the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit but is putting that on hold while considering her for the Supreme Court.

Other names expected to be on Biden’s list include Ketanji Brown Jackson, a federal judge; Leondra Kruger, a justice on the California Supreme Court; and Sherrilyn Ifill, a prominent civil rights lawyer who heads the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis)